Kindle Fire Defines Low End Tablet Market
Shopping for a tablet computer? Amazon's newly announced Kindle Fire might just be the right ticket to get you started in the world of tablet computing.
Apple iPad 2 Versus Kindle Fire Comparison
Last week Amazon announced with much fanfare that they are entering in the hot tablet market. Lets look at the major feature set side by side shall we?
|Feature||Kindle Fire||Apple iPad 2|
|O/S||Android 2.1||iOS 4|
|CPU||Dual core||Dual core A5 1Ghz|
|Memory||8GB||Up to 64GB|
|Weight||14.6 ounces||19.3 ounces|
|Camera||No||Two front and back|
|3G||No||3G model only|
|Sensors||None||Gyro and accelerometer|
|GPS||None||Yes on 3G model|
|Battery life||8 hours||10 hours|
Clearly for $199 you aren't going to get an iPad killer. Instead, you will get a very good WiFi surfing device and personal tablet.
The good news is that leaves room in the future for more features. Perhaps more memory, video camera, and 3G support.
If you are an active user of Facebook or Google+, taking pictures or shooting videos and uploading them, you are out of luck.. This, I believe, is a big mistake. If you are gunning for a market where price is a key factor, why would you leave out a feature that is used by the majority of Internet users today?
Let me explain. If I purchased a Kindle Fire today at $199, and a new model comes out with a camera, the cost of both is close to purchasing a low end Apple iPad 2. This was a big issue for original iPad owners when it first came out. As an iPad 2 owner, I carry the tablet around everywhere and having a video camera on the device is very useful. Especially when you can use Skype to make video calls. If you are in the classroom and the teacher draws a diagram on the board, you can just take a photo snapshot. Having a camera is indispensable for your tablet is a mobile device, isn't it?
Sometimes it isn't wise to be the first kid on the block. And no, you can't go buy off the shelf hardware to expand the tablet like you do with your PC. When you buy a tablet, you are stuck with whats in it.
Bottom line: Know what you are getting. If it meets your needs, go for it.
The Kindle Doesn't Compete Against the iPad
Apple caters to an entirely different consumer - customers with big fat wallets bulging out of their pants. Typically these are the early adopters who can see "cool" and innovation. They appreciate a fine product and how its well thought out and built for them. Apple's products are a cultural phenomenon. People are proud to own their products. Its been that way for decades.
Amazon on the other hand is the world's largest online retailer. They have a huge customer base to sell into. The Kindle Fire isn't playing into the high end tablet market - it is presenting itself to the masses who don't want to shell out $499. The way I see it, Amazon created the tablet for their own customers. If new people purchase the tablet, terrific.
The tablet leads customers over to the Amazon website. They get people to buy more stuff. They don't have to make money on this device. They can make it by presenting a well thought out user interface that gets consumers to go buy everyday items including new digital content year round.
In that way, the Kindle Fire is the best permission based marketing device in the world.
At $199 for the Kindle Fire, you can't go wrong if you are just looking for a WiFi Tablet. Be aware though, that there is motivation for that price - to get your to spend some bucks at Amazon.com - a marketing motivation.
If you are the kind that wants more bells and whistles in your Kindle Fire, realize that the tablet isn't expandable. You will have to wait for additional features to be added and pay up more for it.
The Kindle Fire will be made available on November 15 at Amazon.com.
About Kerry Kobashi
Kerry is the founder of KerryOnWorld. He lives in Silicon Valley.